Semester overview

All teaching takes place in room 124 on Tuesdays 14-17 (2PM-5PM)
(room 124 is through Entrance B in the red building on this map)
The course is comprised of 12 classes and 6 mandatory assignments. You will find the details below, please note that the assignments will be added when the respective deadlines are approaching.
In addition to the classes, we will attend the conference "Interweaving Technologies - the aesthetics of digital urban living taking place here in Aarhus 21 - 23 April.

Mandatory assignments

  1. create a wiki profile of yourself (before class on 9th Feb) Include a picture and link your presentation page to the students page on this wiki. Or click on your name at the students page and create a page from there.
  2. Make a personal and subjective map of Århus (before class on 16 Feb) with inspiration from psychogeography. The map must make visible something invisible, hidden or secret - that is, display something we don't normally pay attention to. I showed a few examples in class - please consult my slides (found in FirstClass) if in doubt. Link to or upload a picture of it on your personal page on this wiki. See how to work with pictures on the wiki here. Also add one or more of the relevant and applicable mapping categories found in Crampton & Krygier.
  3. Document and analyse a place marked by hybrid space (before class on 9 March). See details here.
  4. Make an “audio-stand” (my term). Find a place that you find sonically interesting and communicate it to the rest of us in a soundbite; max 30 secs. It doesn't have to be from Aarhus, but you could use this assignment as an opportunity to listen to the city you currently live in. Try not to record the beep from the pedestrian crossings :) You can record with your mobile phone, your computer or a third thing. If you have access to mixing equipment, feel free to design and mix the soundbite, but I do not expect more than a 30 sec soundbite that clearly communicates a place. Submit it in the dedicated folder “assignment 4” in the FirstClass conference of this course before 22 March @15:00. Name the file after the convention: <yourname>_<location>.<filetype> - e.g. lone_nettosupermarket.mp3
  5. Create and perform a .walk and swap your walk with another group. See more here. Due Tuesday 13 April @10.00 (AM)
  6. Create a mis-guide in order for us all to create a full Mis-guide of Aarhus. Details here Due before/in class 27 April
  7. Sum-up your portfolio and class work by answering the questions here: Your C(i)C experience

Semester plan

Due to copyright issues it is not permitted to make the texts obtainable from the wiki. You will find the readings in three types of locations and every text in the semester plan is clearly marked with one of three abbreviations:
- (RP): find the text in the reading pack
- (FC): find the text as pdf in FirstClass (and print it)
- (link): follow the link provided (and print it)
The reading pack can be bought at Stakbogladen, the campus book store, once the semester begins. The reading pack also contains a few texts that are not in the semester plan - they are included for reference and I will tell you when it will be good to read them as well. You should create your own printed copies of those texts you do not get in the reading pack. They should not be read from the monitor.

— MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE —

2 Feb – (Designing) City life

Introduction to the course. What is city life, and how can one think about designing cities? What does it mean to say “city” or “urban area”, and what do cities ‘communicate’?

  • Marling, Gitte (2007), “Why Leave the City on Holidays”, in Gitte Marling and Martin Zerlang (eds.), Fun City (Skive: The Danish Architectural Press), 36-55. (RP)(+FC)
  • Franck, Karen A. and Stevens, Quentin (2007), “Tying down loose space”, in Karen A. Franck and Quentin Stevens (eds.), Loose space: possibility and diversity in urban life (London: Routledge), 1-34. (RP)(+FC)

Optional read – historic thoughts on urbanism:

Mandatory assignment 1: present yourself on the wiki (to be submitted the day before next week’s class)

9 Feb – Structures of and in the city

On how the Situationists focused on critiquing established notions of the cityscape in the 1960s by seeking ways to explore, map and create alternative structures.

  • Debord, Guy-Ernest (2006 [1955]+[1958]+[1959]), “Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography” + “Theory of the Dérive” + “Détournement as Negation and Prelude”, in Ken Knabb (ed.), Situationist International anthology (Berkeley, Calif.: Bureau of Public Secrets), 8-12+62-66+67-68. All three texts can also be found on <http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/index.htm> (RP)(link)
  • Pinder, D. (1996), “Subverting cartography: the situationists and maps of the city”, Environment and Planning A, 28 (3), 405-27. <http://www.envplan.com/abstract.cgi?id=a280405> (FC)
  • Koolhaas, Rem (1998 [1995]) “The Generic City.” In Small, Medium, Large, Extra-Large, edited by Rem Koolhaas, Bruce Mau, Hans Werleman and Jennifer Sigler, New York: Monacelli, 1248-64. (RP)(+FC)

Mandatory assignment 2: make a personal and subjective map of Århus (to be submitted the day before next week’s class)

16 Feb – Mapping and Power

On how mapping, cartography and other ways of making urban and social structures visible is always also about power relations – on how maps communicate more than ‘objective’ properties.

  • Mort, Frank (1998), “Cityscapes : Consumption, Masculinities and the Mapping of London since 1950”, Urban Studies, 35 (5-6), 889-907 (FC)
  • Crampton, Jeremy W. & John Krygier (2006), “An Introduction to Critical Cartography”, ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 4 (1), 11-33 <http://www.acme-journal.org/vol4/ADP.pdf> (link)(FC)
  • Propen, Amy D. (2006), “Critical GPS: Toward a New Politics of Location”, ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 4 (1), 131-144 <http://www.acme-journal.org/vol4/JWCJK.pdf> (link)(FC)

23 Feb – Locating (GPS) technologies

On how locations are mediated through (GPS) technologies and on how locative technologies both ground and de-locate.

  • Farman, Jason (2009), “Locative life: geocaching, mobile gaming, and the reassertion of proximity”, in Simon Penny (ed.), DAC - Digital Arts and Culture 2009 (UC Irvine, CA). (RP)
  • Hansen, Lone Koefoed (2009). “Lost in Location - on how (not) to situate aliens”, International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, 5 (1), 3-22. (RP)
  • Hemment, D. (2006). “Locative Arts”. Leonardo, 39(4), 348-355. <http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/leonardo/toc/len39.4.html> (FC)

Deadline (1 March) on submitting photos for the Hidden Places in Aarhus competition by Kulturnat Århus and Århus Stiftstidende: http://www.kulturnataarhus.dk/kort.asp

2 March – Hybrid space

On how the urban landscape is more than bricks and mortar; how do new technologies influence spatial structures and how do we perceive space as also consisting of immaterial matter?

Mandatory assignment 3: Find a place marked by hybrid space in one of the versions we’ve been through in this class on Hybrid Space. Explain in max 500 words how it is a hybrid space. Include quote(s) from one/several of the readings for today and/or next week (space-place) in your argument. Document the place in pictures, video and/or sound. See details here. Deadline: before class on 9 March.

9 March – Spaces and places

On how a location is not just a set of coordinates: how do our experiences of the city intertwine with our understanding of the concrete structures.

  • Certeau, Michel de (2002 [1984]), “The practice of everyday life”, trans. Steven Rendall (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press), 91-110. (RP)
  • Wilken, Rowan (2005), “From Stabilitas Loci to Mobilitas Loci: Networked Mobility and the Transformation of Place”, Fibreculture Journal, (6). <http://journal.fibreculture.org/issue6/issue6_wilken.html> (link)
  • Lefebvre, Henri (1991), “The production of space” (Oxford, OX, UK ; Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell), pp 26-33. (RP)

16 March – Listening to the city

On creating auditory experiences of the city scape; on audiowalks and soundscapes.

Also, download and walk the 18 min audio walk "The Speed of Sound Walk" that some of my previous students did as an assignment for a class I taught two years ago. Download it from FC.
Mandatory assignment 4: Make an “audio-stand”. Find a place that you like and communicate it to the rest of us in a soundbite. (to be submitted the day before next week’s class)

23 March – Portable sounds and voices

On what it means to carry your own communication world with you in a small device when roaming the city.

6 April – Scripting space

On ways to explore manifestations of the unknown and the known.

  • Pinder, David. 2005. “Arts of urban exploration”. In Cultural Geographies vol. 12, no. 4. SAGE, 383-411. <http://cgj.sagepub.com/content/vol12/issue4/> (FC)
  • Andersen, Christian Ulrik and Pold, Søren (2010). “The Scripted Spaces of Urban Ubiquitous Computing”, (Aarhus, in press). (RP)

Mandatory assignment 5: In groups of three: make and perform a .walk. Then swap your .walk description with another group and perform it. Document your own .walk performance on a map and document your performance of the other group’s .walk in four pictures. (to be submitted Tuesday 13 April @10.00 AM)

13 April – The power of the masses

(Mediated) parades and other groupings as tactics for ‘disturbing’ and intervening in ordinary ways of living. And on how the power of the masses can also be seen in smaller scale in the everyday.

  • Loukaitou-Sideris, Anastasia and Ehrenfeucht, Irena (2009). “Performing Collective Identities: Parades, Festivals, and Celebrations”, in Sidewalks : conflict and negotiation over public space (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press), 61-79. (RP)
  • Jensen, Ole B. (2010), “Erving Goffman and Everyday Life Mobility”, in Michael Hviid Jacobsen (ed.), The Contemporary Goffman (New York: Routledge), 333-51. (RP)
  • Nicholson, Judith A. (2005), “Flash! Mobs in the Age of Mobile Connectivity”, Fibreculture Journal, (6). <http://journal.fibreculture.org/issue6/issue6_nicholson.html> (link)

Background text:

  • Goffman, Erving (1963), “Behavior in Public Places–notes on the social organization of gatherings.” ([New York]: Free Press of Glencoe), 31-88 (RP)

21-23 April – Interweaving Technologies conference

We’ll participate in (some of) the talks at the international conference “Interweaving technologies: the aesthetics of digital urban living” taking place at Aarhus University. See more here: <http://darc.imv.au.dk/?page_id=450>
We’ll determine which talks and perhaps workshops to attend once the programme has been finalised.

27 April – Mis-guiding Århus

On how to re-interpret the Situationist practice in contemporary urban environments. We’ll do a hands-on workshop on creating a misguide to Aarhus. Plus follow-up on last week’s conference.

Mandatory assignment 6 practical preparation for today’s class: Make a mis-guide as if it were a page in a mis-guide to Aarhus. Draw from your experiences from this course (practical as well as theoretical) in order to figure out a mis-guide concept that contributes to a story of Communicating (in) Aarhus and of Aarhus as such.

4 May– Locating spatial technologies

On how the city is augmented and on how these strategies are or are not indebted to the situationist movement. And we’ll end by doing a fernisage on our Mis-guide to Aarhus book.

  • Flanagan, Mary (2007), “Locating Play and Politics: Real World Games & Activism”, Digital Arts and Culture Conference (Perth). <http://www.leonardo.info/LEA/PerthDAC/DAC-SocialMedia.html> (link to pdf at bottom of page) (link)
  • McGarrigle, Conor (2009). “The construction of locative situations : locative media and the Situationist International, recuperation or redux?” in Simon Penny (ed.), DAC - Digital Arts and Culture 2009 (UC Irvine). (RP)
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